It’s almost time to brush off the cobwebs and head to Adelaide for the Clipsal 500, but before we do there’s been a fair bit of prep to get done. So what has happened between the SuperTest and now to get the team and cars ready for that all-important season opener?
Debrief – it’s no secret that we didn’t quite set the time sheets alight at the SuperTest, but that’s precisely why we debrief. We needed to find out exactly what every piece of data meant and how it affected our performance with the aim being to always learn and improve.
Setup – after every event the cars are pulled apart to their bare bones and everything is serviced, no matter how tight the turnaround, and this includes after the test. When they’re put back together by the mechanics, they will have a base setup as instructed by the engineers, which is worked out by looking at previous setups and data.
Run up – one of the last things to go into the cars are the engines when they’re returned from being serviced at KRE. Once these are in, the cars can be run up. If you’ve been to a few races you’ve probably heard the cars revving while stationary in the garages – this is known as run up and ensures that everything is functioning smoothly inside the car. This is just as important to do at the workshop as it is before a session because you don’t want to be fixing something when you’re already at the track when it could have been done before.
Truck load – if you’ve ever seen the Red Bull Racing Australia garage, you’ll know we have a hell of a lot of stuff to fit into a B-double transporter. Loading begins relatively early, but the last things to go in on Friday afternoon are the toolboxes and the cars before the truck leaves for Adelaide on Sunday. The truck carries enough spares to rebuild a car twice, but certain tracks require more specialist packing, for example we’ll have more spare wing mirrors for Clipsal and other streets circuits than we would for a traditional circuit. It’s basically a giant game of Tetris.
Uniforms – as if the cars weren’t enough to worry about, we then need to make sure the team is decked out too. Although we have uniform for the test, our full kit, with everything from socks to suitcases, is issued during event week.
Schedules – our schedules are our bibles for each race weekend. We’d be lost without them! And there would definitely be a few empty seats on the plane. As the schedule is constantly changing, an electronic version is distributed the week prior and team members receive a hard copy usually two days before travelling.
Although we try to be as prepared as possible, it’s near inevitable that at least one person will end up having to carry a part or two in their hand luggage. Luckily the Red Bull’s always waiting for us at the other end.